SESA welcomes scrutiny of deposit return

Posted On: 
10th September 2019

The Scottish Environmental Services Association (SESA), the voice of Scotland’s resource and waste management industry, today welcomed the opportunity to review the Scottish Government’s draft regulations for a deposit return scheme (DRS). The draft regulation have been laid in the Scottish Parliament are now available for public comment.

SESA Policy Advisor, Stephen Freeland said,

“Consultation with the waste management industry on DRS has been disappointingly light, with producers and retailers the sole focus of Zero Waste Scotland’s engagement on scheme design. We hope that publication of the draft regulations heralds a more inclusive approach to engaging the wider supply chain, including our sector which stands ready to invest in the services and infrastructure needed to make a success of the scheme.

Aspects of the scheme would benefit from more detailed parliamentary scrutiny, such as the decision to include glass bottles. It is perhaps noteworthy that Norway, the inspiration for Scotland’s DRS, does not include glass. It is also a source of frustration that the Scottish Government continues to push ahead with DRS in isolation, with greater environmental gains likely to be achieved at lower cost if beverage containers were considered more fully in the context of anticipated reforms to extended producer responsibility.

To build a DRS from scratch for April 2021 remains incredibly ambitious, and this creates significant uncertainty on what infrastructure is needed where, while also impacting on investment decisions for kerbside collections. Discussion with SESA Members on this needs to start now if everything is to be in place on time”.